How to make time to study for final exams

woman with book

Finals. A word that every college student dreads.

Between finishing up your assignments, attending classes, and joining extracurricular activities, how do you find the time to study for finals? 

With a head start and determination, you can make the time to study for finals without even realizing you’ve done it. Here are some of our top tips for getting your study time in.

Frank’s Top Tips for Finals Time

Get started early

Nothing ruins your ability to retain information more than trying to cram it all at the last minute. If you get organized in advance, you can lay out time each week leading up to finals for some prime studying time. 

Estimate how much time you’ll need to cover all your classes’ information — and schedule your sessions out in advance. 

Don’t compromise with yourself

Once you have a schedule set — stick to it. Compromising with yourself will set a precedence for doing the same thing in the future. Treat your schedule the way you would important events or classes. You have to do it when you laid out the time to do it. No excuses. 

Organize your notes in order of importance

Before you get started, organize your notes according to what you know or think will be on the exam. Organize them from definitely on the exam, to probably, and then finally, might be on the exam. 

Chances are you understand some of what the professor expects you to know. Make that a priority. And the rest will follow. 

Study in groups

A study group is one of the key aspects of the college experience. And it works for a reason. Form study groups with friends or individuals you have class with. You’ll be surprised how much more you’ll retain when you have the chance to quiz each other and discuss facts in a group setting. 

Seek out a tutor

There’s no harm in asking for help. If you have a challenging class, take the time to find a tutor that can help you understand the coursework. There are many free resources for students to take advantage of on college campuses, and tutoring is one of those. 

Create study aids and quizzes

The easiest way to remember information is to quiz yourself and create creative study aids that stick in your mind. The more you use your study aids or quiz yourself, the more information you’re likely to remember. 

Spend some time during your study sessions creating aids that help you. When you have a few free minutes between classes or before bed, cram in some extra study time with them.

Get your sleep in

The problem with overnight cram sessions is that you exhaust your body — and therefore, your mind. Stick to your usual sleep schedule as you head into finals time, so your mind stays sharp. 

Finals time can be super stressful, so set yourself up for success by preparing as early as possible. With a little organization, you’ll ace your exams!